Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jesus probably spit up. And other thoughts on babies this Christmas.

The Bible has several examples of babies that were conceived for a purpose that would shape history. Abraham and Sarah, who were of advanced age; Sarah being barren, conceived Issac. Then Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was barren and was granted the ability to conceive, bore Jacob and Esau. Manoah prayed that his barren wife conceive and she was visited by and angel and bore Samson.  John the Baptist, born to the aged Zachariah and his barren wife Elizabeth. And the most well known conception, the Virgin Mary who bore Jesus. (Both John and Jesus were announced to them by the Archangel Gabriel).  There probably are others, but these are all that come to mind now and are sufficient to bear my point.

All these people were essential in salvation history. All were purposefully conceived and God made sure to point out His role in their conception. All entered the world for a grand purpose.

Now take into account Christ's words in Matthew 11-11.

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Dr.Tim Keller says, In one of the most overlooked passages in the Bible, Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest prophet in history, and then added that every single believer is now greater in position and calling than him. (Matthew 11:9–11) ‘The least in the kingdom of God is greater than he [John the Baptist.]‘ What did Jesus mean? He couldn’t mean that every Christian believer would be more courageous or more godly than John the Baptist. (I know that I’m not!)

 At mass yesterday, Fr. Kelley pointed out that the conception of EVERY baby is willed by God. 
 And how Jesus' own words bear that out.  I can hear the outraged cries now. What about conceptions as a result of rape and incest!!? Well, what about them? Think about this. Is getting pregnant and having a baby a bad thing? Is it, as our president famously stated about his own daughters, a punishment?  Perhaps a woman doesn't feel ready or her conception was a surprise. (Tradition states that Mary was 14).  The thing that stands out most to me is the mindset of all the women given these "special assignments"by God. they were either barren, elderly, or in Mary's case, very young and unmarried. They all saw childbirth as a badge of honor. Mary's response being the crown, the Magnificat:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant From this day all generations shall call me blessed. The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever. Amen

 Mary lived to please God and her response was full of the grace she received from Him at her conception. All the other women did not have this special grace but were grateful to God for their babies anyway.

So back to the objection. I have a question. Have you ever known a woman that had a baby and it changed her life? I am one, and I know many others. Suddenly, her life had a completely different focus and purpose. Maybe some of her old ways of thinking and doing things faded away in light of this greater thing that happened. Maybe she was able to see beyond herself and her own problems because her baby helped her look to the future. A baby conceived in a negative way can have a positive effect on the mother. If her mindset is one that knows the conceived child's life is willed by God and has a particular purpose in the world, and that she is helping to bring that about. If she can see past the right now and know that a child can help make a mother a better person. That she is, in essence, saving that child, who does not have to grow up with a negative stigma, but seen as a gift that came from a bad act, if that was the case, and who defied that bad act by being something beautiful.

And for mothers -- Mary is often seen with a sword through her heart. We care so much for our children that we often can relate to that. Right now, I think of the poor mothers (and fathers) of the slain children in Connecticut and know that are living that sword most literally. But Mary is, at the very same time, full of grace. We can also experience Extreme Grace because we cooperated with God in bearing and raising our children. With every woman's yes, comes the grace to have and to raise our children. My prayer for the parents of the Sandy Hook tragedy is that they would be flooded with grace. 

I never would have believed that I could raise seven. Never. God has given the grace, and still is, to help me, despite my many sins and failings, to do this. He will do it for you. And every mother that says yes to the life He ordained within her.

If you are pregnant, and need any kind of help. there are pregnancy help centers all over the country. If you cannot find one in your local directory, your local Catholic church may be able to direct you

If you say yes to God regarding the baby you are carrying, even if you give him up for adoption and bless a childless couple, God WILL  show you His grace and mercy and do a wonderful work in your life. If your mind and heart are open to Him. If you are only open to the voices that tell you an abortion is just one choice and will be quick and easy, beware that lie. Beware it. Your life will not be the same, no matter how much you will it. 

Here are a few images of the Virgin and Child that I love.

I feature this one, Mother of Good Counsel, on my sidebar.  It is an ancient image, said to have been etched in the wall of a cave somewhere in the 400s, connected with miraculous healings and protection. Now it is in the care of some Augustinian nuns in Italy (I think). I just love the baby Jesus hanging on her neckline. It is just what babies do! And apparently, always have done.

This one is by Donatello. Not the ninja turtle. Again, it shows them in a sweet moment, just like any other mother and baby. I have always believed Jesus was like all babies, needing his mother all hours of the day and night, crying, spitting up on her best clothes, etc.. Not like some tiny adult in a baby costume. (ew).

 And this sketch of DaVinci. Apparently the Joseph and Mary household had a cat. Love it.

Don't forget to thank Mary this Christmas! She had that special grace, it's true. But Joseph didn't (poor guy! the only sinner in the house!) And Jesus still probably had ear infections and runny noses from time to time. And didn't want his mashed peas, or whatever they mashed back then for their babies. But I still like this image, even though it is less the human and more the divine.

 Have a wonderful, blessed, happy and holy Christmas! 



Friday, December 14, 2012

There is only one answer.

Prayers for all the grieving families in Connecticut.

And hug your kids a little tighter.

I just heard Rudy Giuliani say we have to find better answers.

There is only one answer.

And that answer is a someone, Jesus Christ.

How his mother must grieve with understanding of what it is like to have your child suffer and die.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fun and True Facts about Santy Claus

In the interest of honest and accurate branding, I should probably re-title my blog The One Post per Holiday or Other Event-Blog. The really annoying thing is that I had so many great (I thought) ideas for pithy, informative and HI-larious posts. Trust me on that one. But, since I am trying to reform my undisciplined ways and get to daily mass more, of which I am this moment in danger of being late, instead of the pithy, etc post, I will share SOMEONE ELSE's pithy, informative and HI-larious post (you do know there was a Pope Hilarious, don't you? there is my P.I and H fact for today).

 I hope to find a niche in my daily whirlwind to come back and share my own polished stream of consciousness writing some other fine day.

For now, go read this:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is Malaika dressed as Kateri Tekakwitha -- back when she was Blessed Kateri -- now St. Kateri.

Hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 16, 2012

7 quick disjointed takes in which the Blessed Mother makes an appearance

1.  Thanks to an incredibly lovely friend who hand delivered this book when the US mail couldn't--I am now doing the Marian Consecration with it.

It is proving to be a huge blessing. In the introduction, there is this:

 "...God is offering the people of our time a powerful and effective way to become great saints, and it's not because we're so good. Rather, it's because our times are so perilous, and God wants his mercy to triumph through Mary. So, he gives us poor, sinful souls an amazing gift -- what St. Louis calls a little known "secret":

             Poor children of Mary, your weakness is extreme, your inconstancy is great, your inward nature is very much corrupted. You are drawn (I grant it) from the same corrupt mass as all the children of Adam and Eve. Yet do not be discouraged because of that. Console yourselves and exult in having the secret which I will teach you -- a secret unknown to almost all Christians, even the most devout."

I don't know about you, but as life goes on, I am more and more aware that I am not so good, and do not have the ability within myself to become so. All help accepted.

2. I am currently on Day Eight, on which begins the section on Maximillian Kolbe. Today began a little sketch of his life. This story is included:

"...Raymond Kolbe, who in 1894 was born into a poor, Polish farming family. And from the beginning, one wouldn't have guessed he'd eventually become a great saint. In fact, one day, his mother was so frustrated with his behavior that she yelled at him in exasperation: 'Raymond, what will become of you?!' This shook the boy to the core. Filled with grief, he immediately turned to the Mother of God, asking her, 'What will become of me?'  Then he went to a church and repeated his question. The future saint recounted what happened next:

Then the Virgin Mother appeared to me holding in her hands two crowns, one white and one red. She looked at me with love and she asked me if I would like to have them. The white meant that I would remain pure and the red that I would be a martyr.
 I answered yes, I wanted them. Then the Virgin looked at me tenderly and disappeared."

If you dare to ask God direct questions and are open to His answer, whatever it may be, buckle your seatbelt. Just a heads up.

3. I occasionally like to remind myself and my dear readers why I write this blog. It is to tell my story of continuing conversion to Christ and what happened along the way. I greatly suspect there are many who can relate and who may need to hear that they are Loved by the Creator of the universe even though they may have not led an exemplary life in the past or the present. I am here to say that it is never too late to take one tiny step toward God and humbly admit the need of His help. He then takes many giant, running strides toward the penitent and proceeds to fill them with His love. That's how He rolls. (hint--story of the prodigal son...)

Another reason I blog is to witness to life and tell my story of having aborted my first child.Contrary to the popular myth of our time, this is not a healthy choice made by an enlightened modern woman who then trips merrily along with the rest of her enlightened life. Any honest woman will attest to this.

4. Lately, I have been remembering this book that I read some time ago. Most especially how God cannot be outdone in generosity, and then as I was reading the book in #1 above, I read that the Blessed Mother cannot be outdone in generosity. hmmmm---think God is sending me some kind of message? Not sure -- but if I am clobbered with a sledgehammer for being so dense I will blog about it from the ER.


People I love and miss. You too, Jeff! I just really like this picture :)

6. Politics in a nutshell. Going to Hell in a handbasket. Next!
7.  Seriously--hope each an every person who reads here has a blessed Thanksgiving! I will try to remember to take pictures and post them. Last year, we mostly looked like a gathering of the comatose. We'll try to look a little more lively this time. Maybe do photos before dinner. Anyways! I would love to see photos of some of your Thanksgiving gatherings! 

~God Bless You~



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Voris and the Bishops

Just for my friend who commented on my last posting of a Voris video.

Voris' focus is on Catholics in the here and now. I don't think he is ignorant nor selective about history. I do think his role is to help us wake up today and be the best Catholics we can, for our own souls and for others. He obviously is not timid in pointing out the failings of some of the people within the Church. Nor is he playing the whining victim. In fact I have heard he comes under attack quite regularly for his outspokenness.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Going Small

I have been ruminating since the election on just how to go forward from here, personally, spiritually.

Without going into what may or may not have happened on election day and then the resignation of General Petraeus and how everything fits together, or doesn't--or if it's all one huge co-inky-dink--I find myself wanting to focus on what I can do now.

 Of course, there has been a lot of God Is In Control messages in the air, and, of course, He is, but if anyone is like me -- wanting to know my next assignment, wanting to DO something to fend off being demoralized, wanting to listen for His voice specifically to me, then you may also be casting about.

The term, "going small," kept coming to mind. While the larger world does it's own thing, my calling to what's put in front of me suddenly kind of came into focus. There are lots of people in my life that could use some love and attention. They could really use His loving touch.


Just for starters.

I always knew this and already accepted it as my vocation, but now, somehow, I feel a renewed sense of it's importance in God's larger plan. And yes, I realize that was always true as well. That He has always been in the Renewal of Hearts Business. Not knowing what is happening to our country needn't become Not Living as His child, or Not Believing He will preserve His children no matter what.

This past Sunday, we attended a Communion Breakfast and the Monsignor that spoke shared EXACTLY what I have been feeling and thinking. He conveyed it way better than I.

At the end, he used this illustration-

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.
Just read the article straight through, and you’ll get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series Winners.

personal growth

How did you do?

  • The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
  • These are no second-rate achievers.
  • They are the best in their fields.
  • But the applause dies.
  • Awards tarnish.
  • Achievements are forgotten.
  • Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

personality development

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Did you find that Easier?

The lesson:

  • The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..
  • The most money…or the most awards…
  • They simply are the ones who care the most

God Bless you



quiz credit:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Belated Halloween, Cats, Cowboys and the election.

This picture is living proof that miracles happen.

Bob has not been the biggest pet lover of all time. Until Mr. Tumnus. They are officially partners now. Bob is as surprised as anyone. God sent us the perfect cat for him, as well as the rest of us, but we needed less convincing.

  I thought the costume we chose for him was quite a coincidence after watching this:

Now, as promised, my thoughts on the election.

I have lived through these presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. I have never seen a president so protected by the media, so immune to consequences (such as, for one, promising "transparency"and cooking up closed door Friday night deals completely disassociated from government process and the will of the American people.) (Obamacare.) (HHS mandate). On and on. He and VP Biden can literally say anything and never have to answer for it. The degree to which the media circles the wagons is astounding. He has behaved in ways I have never seen from a president, even Bill Clinton. 

Mitt Romney. He was not the candidate I wanted to see get the nomination. But now that he is, and I have heard him and learned more about him, here are the things I am encouraged about.
1. He knows what he is doing. 

2. He is a leader.

3. He loves our country and will see to it we are better protected and defended.

4. He has respect for people. Women, the military, people of all creeds. The irony that he is accused of being an out of touch elite while criticized for raising relief for Sandy victims, juxtaposed to the presidents' words and photo op with Gov. Christie that didn't translate to actual relief, are typical. What an infuriating four years it has been.

5. And this is not number five in importance. Life. The chilling coldness regarding human life made cavalier and discussed in a convoluted way during this administration should be waving 60 million red flags in the faces of all that work, pray and fight for the unborn. The most visible leader in the free world being  A-O-Kay with abortion on demand, partial birth abortion and with babies that survive botched abortions being left to die should be a hugely telling sign to Americans that if he is not willing to protect the most fundamental right to those most vulnerable little lives; what other atrocities, pray tell, do you think he will be willing to stand by for? I think what happened in Benghazi is illustrative of one of those things. And the fact that SO many Americans are being bulldozed on this by a few liberal elites (yep, I said it!) on this issue makes it particularly sickening. EVERY year at the March for Life in DC, more and more people show up. Last year, the number topped a quarter of a million. 350, 000. It was a rainy, muddy, cold day and that many people from all over the globe showed up. Do you think the media reported it accurately? Course not. the seven protesters got some coverage though.

6. He is a gentleman. His VP is not a buffoon. He doesn't talk down to or about America. He is not on a power trip. He has humility. He donated a large portion of his income to charity. He never took as salary as Governor of Massachusetts. He can work with both parties. He has experience governing.

7.The biggest reason I am imploring a vote for Romney is this. Our children and their children. I want to see future generations enjoy the greatest parts of living as Americans. The freedoms, the wholesome values, the opportunities. The ability to worship freely and live by our beliefs. The simple right to LIVE and be born. I will likely not be here in 30-40 years, so it is not for myself that I am fighting. I want to see the generations growing up now be able to live in our great country as it was meant to be.

I still ask God to recognize that there are many. many faithful that have not taken this country for granted, or the blessings He has given us here. Not all would spit in His eye and reject the life He gives.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012


So here we go folks! Hang on to your hats! And pray. Please pray. Ultimately, our God supplies ALL our needs and knows every hair on our heads. He is the One we can trust during all the storms of life. Yes, prepare. Yes, do everything you know how to to help mitigate possibly having to stay inside without power for at least three days. I know the local govt. and power companies are readying for widespread power outages, but they won't be able to get out until the storm has passed.
I have already noticed people being a little kinder to one another, and having to stay in together can be a welcome time away from the fast pace of everyday life.

I know of at least a couple people in harm's way, very close to the NJ coast. For them I especially pray.

For us, so far it has mainly been cleaning up and cooking things, anticipating the loss of power

Psalm 91:14-16

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Luke 21:18
But not a hair of your head will perish.. 

I am asking the Lord to have mercy on all in Sandy's path and that all might know that He is their rock and salvation, and it is He that holds our hand.

Prayer of Entrustment to the Divine Mercy

O Lord, our God.
We place our trust in You,
Because you are mercy itself.
We repent of our sins and turn to You for mercy.
We trust You to provide for our every need, according to Your will.
Help us to forgive others as You forgive us.
We promise to be merciful by our deeds, words and prayers.
Though we have fears because of human weakness, we rely on Your infinite goodness and mercy.
We entrust to You the future of our planet, our Church, our nations, our families and all our needs. 
With loud cries we implore your mercy on us and on the whole world.
Look upon us, created in your image and likeness.
Form us in the Heart of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit into the living images of mercy.
May all come to know the depth of Your mercy and sing the praises of Your mercy forever. Amen!

If you wish you can pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet-

Divine Mercy Chaplet
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My baby is 13

Saying Happy Birthday, big- brother style.

These were at the apple -slingshots.

<<<<   see the yellow apple flying?

 Face painting. Rachael walking by in the background.


On a hayride

Melissa :)

Malaika, looking fierce!

Some nice memories of  nice day!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Call the Midwife

I just happened upon this show the other day, and I was very pleasantly surprised. When I saw it was about a young girl just out of midwife- school (or whatever it is called), sent to live in a poor section of London, in a convent and working alongside the nuns, I readied myself for the critical, politically correct tone that I am used to see accompanying such topics.

Well, was I wrong! Yes, the setting is one of poverty and it doesn't look like the general population then (it takes place in the late 50's) is very educated, but what comes through is not what I expected.

Watch Call the Midwife - Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

Looking at it as I can't help look at everything, with prolife eyes, I am so touched and truly amazed that a series like this is coming out in the times we now live, from the UK. And thankful. Watch this short piece about how the actors react to working with the babies:

God is touching hearts. Once again through the tiniest, most helpless of us.

 You can watch the whole first episode here. The second airs Sunday, October 7 on PBS. Check your local listings for the time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Be encouraged!

A nice woman approached me at the vigil I posted here last, and gave me a card with this paragraph on it. She had seen me going around snapping pictures, and for whatever reason, felt she needed to share this with me.

It is nice to receive encouragement.

I was watching this video-

--and Mr. D'Souza shared an Indian saying at about 13:25--"After crossing the mountains -- more mountains." He was talking about how it is easy for conservatives to grow weary.

Galatians 6:9 says this-

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

In my very humble opinion, Barack Obama would not be president today if people had not "given up" to the media blitz for Obama, if the faithful Christians of America had done their own homework, rather than letting themselves be led by headlines and weak pastoral statements about "conscience" fromt he American Bishops. (for those of us who are Catholic). There are plenty now who are taking a much clearer stance.

"You need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy."-Bishop Thomas Paprocki

 Now, folks, we have no excuse. Let's not be lazy. Don't simply " hope for the best." Don't be taken in by the Obama-Media. Don't let polls discourage you. Consider that there may be some who would try to dishearten conservative voters with smears against Gov. Romney. I think he will do well in the debates, but even if he doesn't, or (this is likely) that you and I think he does well, but the media proclaims him as losing--don't be swayed. Remember your children and grandchildren, who may have to live under whatever the Unconcerned-about-Reelection-Obama dishes out. (shudder.)

Unborn babies cannot do anything unless we rise up to help them. Re-electing this man is tantamount to a death sentence for untold numbers of the unborn. It is an invitation to an even more rapid decline of the values that helped shape America. Before anyone feels the need to react to these statements, no, I don't expect abortions to stop on a dime on January 22, 2013. Or that Roe v Wade will overturn immediately. But I DO know that Obamacare will go, which will spark businesses and restore religious freedom to those opposed to the mandate. Oh, and relieve many American doctors. Maybe even the March for Life on January 25, 2013, will actually be acknowledged. Maybe even the number topping a quarter of a million marchers will even be reported accurately. Hey, a girl can dream!

"It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion." -- Pope Benedict XVI

Glenn beck held a telephone conference on Tuesday night (Sept. 25), explicitly for Catholics. He urged us to get on our knees for our country. There is a recording of the half-hour call on the net somewhere, but I couldn't remember where I saw it, and couldn't locate it today. I usually am kind of freaked out by him, but I am glad I tuned in.

So, friends, I encourage you! Do not give up! Let's fight the good fight every day, wherever our footsteps take us. Everything belongs to God. Let's live in the times we are born, as people that recognize that and are willing to live as His children, acknowledging Him in all we do and say.

~God Bless You~



Saturday, September 22, 2012

What a Pro Life Vigil really looks like

One week ago today, Bob and I went to our usual gathering of Helper's of God's Precious Children, praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Center City. On that day, the Pro Life Union joined us and after we did our prayer vigil, we processed to the Cathedral for mass. (It's a pretty decent walk. Props to all who did it!)

Here are a few moments I thought were so lovely. Especially since we are so often maligned and misrepresented, I wanted to show the real tone of our presence.



And here are a few of the beautiful basilica--

I also would ask for your prayers for my family. Several of my kids are going through some rough times.

God Bless!